Any form of Domestic Violence (DV) is concerned with two aspects: that violence occurred and that it was directed toward a domestic relationship of some kind.
DV occurs when you have any kind of domestic relationship with the accuser. It cannot occur with a stranger or a coworker. These cases are particularly focused on people that you live with or have a close relationship with — a girlfriend or boyfriend, spouse, family member, or roommate.
DV is specifically concerned with accusations of violence and assault. Assault in Illinois consist of threats of imminent harm.
If The Alleged Victim Changes His Or Her Story After Charges Are Filed Or Doesn’t Want Charges Pressed Against Me In A Domestic Battery Case, Does That Mean The Charges Will Be Dropped?
If an alleged victim changes their mind about “pressing charges” after filing a police report, they have no legal course by which to stop the investigation and have charges dropped. This is because accusers in criminal matters do not press charges, the state does.
Criminal charges are considered to be matters between the laws of the state and individuals who break those laws. Therefore, accusers (alleged victims) are seen by prosecutors as witnesses and not plaintiffs.
Because of this, a prosecutor may take into account the alleged victim’s statement and dismiss the charges accordingly. However, they don’t have to. Consequently, if there is a pattern of repeat accusations, the state will be far more likely to move forward with charges, regardless of the wishes of the accuser.
If the alleged victim is a child, an elderly person, or someone otherwise unable to care for themselves, the state will take particular attention to the case and more likely seek to proceed with charges.
What Strategies Can Be Used To Defend Clients On A Domestic Battery Charge? Is Self-Defense A Viable Defense?
There are many useful strategies to defend against a Domestic Battery charge, including (when appropriate) self-defense.
Where there is evidence at the scene of “mutual combat” or the parties are accusing each other of Domestic Battery very often, police officers will charge both parties in an altercation to prevent further violence and allow the courts to determine the outcome. In these cases, there may be plenty of reasons to pursue self-defense.
Additionally, it is not uncommon for people to be charged with Domestic Battery when protecting themselves in abusive situations.
In one case, we saw a wife arrested for hitting her husband in the head with an iron. The husband was taken to the hospital and was given stitches, the wife was arrested for battery. It came to light through the investigation of the charge that he battered her while she was ironing, and she hit him with the iron to defend herself. Just so happened to give him a more severe injury due to the circumstances.
The arrest, in this case, happened because the husband had more apparent physical damage, but the charges were dropped based on the wife’s need to act in self-defense.
It is important to remember that, even in complicated or misunderstood situations, self-defense is not a unilateral explanation. Self-defense claims must show a reasonable use of force.
Is An Order Of Protection Or A Restraining Order Automatically Put In Place When Someone Is Charged With Domestic Battery?
Orders of Protection are not automatically put into place when a person is charged with Domestic Battery.
If someone has been charged or arrested in connection with Domestic Battery, the state’s attorney will have an advocate speak to the alleged victim and ask whether or not an Order of Protection is wanted. If it is, they will take the necessary steps to secure it.
Additionally, a Civil Order of Protection can be requested at any time, without the need for any arrest or criminal charges. In the Civil Courtroom, there are domestic violence advocates available who can help in drafting an Order of Protection, when needed, and provide counseling and other resources that may be available.
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